April 17, 2014

Films

I Am a Camera – 1955 | 98 mins | Drama | Colour

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Plot Synopsis

I Am a Camera

Disappointingly nostalgic film adaptation of John Van Druten’s award-winning stage version of Christopher Isherwood’s celebrated ’30s‘Berlin Stories’. The sanitised script from short-story writer John Collier is an episodic screwball comedy that completely misses the sordid charm and divinely decadent underbelly of pre-war German society the end result is sadly bowdlerised and lacking any sense of decadent. The direction of Henry Cornelius and camerawork of Guy Green is similarly stiff and gives a stagey feel to the production. American actress Julie Harris makes a determinedly amoral Sally Bowles and especially shines in the spirited sequences. Laurence Harvey’s lack of range is exposed as a lifeless Isherwood.

Christopher Isherwood (Laurence Harvey), a struggling English writer in 1930′s Germany, observes the rise of anti-Semitism and the Nazi regime but rather than objecting, likens himself to a camera. His close friend Fritz Wendel (Anton Diffring) introduces the young writer to some of Berlin’s more seedy nightspots, where Chris encounters amoral Windermere club singer Sally Bowles (Julie Harris). Afterwards, the effervescent yet homeless songstress and the naive writer move in together- their time together is both exhilarating and irksome. Both are broke and down on their luck until making the acquaintance of American playboy Clive (Ron Randell), who affords both the opportunity to mix with high society, but as quickly as he arrives, he departs. With the rise of the Nazi party, Chris finally feels inspired to write.

Production Team

Henry Cornelius: Director
William Kellner: Art Direction
Guy Green: Cinematography
Clive Donner: Film Editing
Ida Mills: Makeup Department
Malcolm Arnold: Original Music
John Woolf: Producer
John Collier: Script
WH Lindop: Sound Department

Cast

Julie Harris: Sally Bowles
Laurence Harvey: Christopher Isherwood
Shelley Winters: Natalia Landauer
Ron Randell: Clive
Lea Seidl: Fräulein Schneider
Anton Diffring: Fritz Wendel
Ina De La Haye: Herr Landauer
Stanley Maxted: Editor
Alexis Bobrinskoy: Proprietor
André Mikhelson: Head Waiter
Frederick Valk: Doctor



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